Comeback Bid Falls Short vs. Princeton
LA JOLLA, Calif. - A comeback bid to force a fifth set fell short as the University of California San Diego was defeated 3-1 by Princeton in non-conference men's volleyball action Tuesday night at RIMAC Arena.
UC San Diego won the opening set 25-23, but Princeton took the next three by scores of 25-19, 25-14, and 25-22. The Tritons dropped to 3-6 and the Tigers, who are favored to win the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) this season, improved to 2-5.
Down by seven points at 22-15, UC San Diego rallied to score four unanswered points and get back within three at 22-19. Wyatt Harrison had back-to-back kills to close the run. Facing match point at 24-20, Connor Walbrecht put down a kill and then assisted on a block with Logan Clark to make it 24-22. However, Princeton put the match away with a kill from Parker Dixon, his 12th of the set.
The Tritons held a 10.5 to 9.0 advantage in blocks, but hit .155 (41-23-116) to the Tigers' .287 (53-20-115). Princeton led 41-33 in digs.
Harrison led UC San Diego in kills with 15. Freshman Shane Benetz finished with seven kills and no errors in 13 attempts, good for a .538 hitting percentage. Connor Walbrecht registered a double-double with 28 assists and a match-high 12 digs while matching a career-best with six blocks (one solo).
Dixon left the arena with 25 kills and a .447 hitting percentage to his name.
Trailing 17-15 in the first set, UC San Diego scored three straight points to reclaim the lead. From that point, Princeton tied it four times, the latest at 23-23. The Tritons got to match point on a Tiger service error and Benetz served up an ace to give his team a 1-0 lead in the match.
UC San Diego hit .083 in each of the next two frames and never led in either.
In the second, the Tritons tied it six times but at 18-18, the Tigers went on a six-point run to put it out of reach.
Princeton was on it early in the third set, jumping out to a 10-3 lead. UC San Diego then scored four consecutive points to make it 10-7. At 13-9, the Tigers took seven of the next eight points to get up big and essentially seal the set victory.
Now through three contests of its current six-match home stand, UC San Diego hosts two more non-conference tilts this week including Concordia on Friday, February 1, and UC Santa Cruz on Saturday, February 2. Both matches are set for 7 p.m. at RIMAC Arena.
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles, and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in the summer of 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's pre-eminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
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